First Round Grace

Submitted by Pita Horne

I once heard a conversation on the radio about a young quarterback. The commentators explained how football players drafted in the first round will be given every opportunity to fail. They are seldom (never) cut from the team at the end of the preseason competition.

In contrast, NFL clubs will sign young, undrafted, players to temporary contracts to get them through training camp. Throughout the preseason NFL teams must gradually cut their squad from 90 players to 75, and then finally to 53 players on the team's roster at the start of the regular season. If you're doing the math, that means that 40% of the players present on the opening day of training camp won't play in the NFL that year.

For most undrafted free agents, the opportunity with their first NFL teams will come to an end before the regular season begins. To continue the opportunity into the regular season and onto a potential path to stardom, an undrafted free agent must prove his worth during training camp. ~


Despite their shortcomings, a great many current NFL players are underperforming – in particular first round draft selections. They may be heading into their third and even fourth year with a franchise and yet there is often little discussion of them being cut. Their roster spot is secured. Teams are simply hoping they will improve and this will be the year they live up to the potential they saw in him on draft day years ago. The teams have shown patience, invested the time and energy of numerous coaches into development, and may even have used early picks in the draft to help a player have a better supporting cast...

Grace. Patience. Forgiveness. Time to Grow.

The free agent or late round pick may have just weeks before they are relegated to the category of ‘mistake’ or ‘lacking talent.’ They will be told to pack their bags and quietly leave the football facility as there is no room for them or their sub-par talent in the world of professional football.

The good news for you is that when God looks at you, he sees a first round draft pick. It doesn't matter how you see yourself. It doesn't matter how others view you. God sees someone precious.

Because you're his first round draft pick, God gives you grace, patience, forgiveness, and time to grow.

In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who leaves his flock of 99 sheep to go back and find one that wandered away. He describes God's love for each person. The team bus won't wait for the #7 WR, but the QB drafted in the first round? The coach would probably drive to his house personally to make sure he was okay. So God views us as his first round draft pick, and treats us accordingly.

As God's children, He gives us every opportunity to fail, but His intent is that we succeed and make the Hall of Fame.